Week of September 7, 2007

Work Can Be Worship
by Max Lucado

Jesus’s word for frustrated workers can be found in the fifth chapter of Luke’s gospel. Peter, Andrew, James, and John made their living catching and selling fish. Like other fishermen, they worked the night shift, when cool water brought the game to the surface. And, like other fishermen, they knew the drudgery of a fishless night.

While Jesus preaches, they clean nets. And as the crowd grows, Christ has an idea.

He noticed two boats tied up. The fishermen had just left them and were out scrubbing their nets. He climbed into the boat that was [Peter’s] and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Sitting there, using the boat for a pulpit, he taught the crowd. (vv. 2–3 msg)

Jesus claims Peter’s boat. He doesn’t request the use of it. Christ doesn’t fill out an application or ask permission; he simply boards the boat and begins to preach.

He can do that, you know. All boats belong to Christ. Your boat is where you spend your day, make your living, and to a large degree live your life. The taxi you drive, the horse stable you clean, the dental office you manage, the family you feed and transport—this is your boat. Christ shoulder-taps us and reminds:

cure for the common life“You drive my truck.”
“You preside in my courtroom.”
“You work on my job site.”
“You serve my hospital wing.”
To us all, Jesus says, “Your work is my work.”

Our Wednesdays matter to him as much as our Sundays. He blurs the secular and sacred. One stay-at-home mom keeps this sign over her kitchen sink: Divine tasks performed here, daily. An executive hung this plaque in her office: My desk is my altar. Both are correct. With God, our work matters as much as our worship. Indeed, work can be worship.

Peter, the boat owner, later wrote: “You are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God” (1 Pet. 2:9 nlt).

A priest represents God, and you, my friend, represent God. So “let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus” (Col. 3:17 msg). You don’t drive to an office; you drive to a sanctuary. You don’t attend a school; you attend a temple. You may not wear a clerical collar, but you could. Your boat is God’s pulpit.

From Cure for the Common Life
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 1998, 2001) Max Lucado